Holocaust survivor hopes we don't repeat history

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Holocaust survivor Oskar Knoblauch talked to Mike Watkiss about recent events. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Holocaust survivor Oskar Knoblauch talked to Mike Watkiss about recent events. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
“Neo-nazis, white supremacists, the alt-right movement are nothing but skinheads,” Knoblauch said. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) “Neo-nazis, white supremacists, the alt-right movement are nothing but skinheads,” Knoblauch said. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Knoblauch now spends much of his time and energy speaking at schools, churches and community gatherings— sharing his eyewitness account of one of the darkest times in human history. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Knoblauch now spends much of his time and energy speaking at schools, churches and community gatherings— sharing his eyewitness account of one of the darkest times in human history. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Tensions are high following the racial violence in Charlottesville.

Around the dinner table and on social media, people are talking about white supremacists and other hate groups. 

A Valley man who survived the Holocaust thought he left all that behind in Germany.

Phoenix resident and Holocaust survivor Oskar Knoblauch has seen and experienced much in his 91 years. 

[RAW VIDEO: Arizona Holocaust survivor shares experience, reflects on recent racial violence]

Knoblauch was a teenager in Poland when war broke out in Europe and the Nazis began persecuting and rounding up Jews.

Knoblauch's mother ended up in a concentration camp while Knoblauch, his father and his two siblings were sent to what he called “a sub-camp” where Jews and others demonized and incarcerated by the Nazis were used as slave labor.

“They murdered (my father) about eight months before we were liberated,” Knoblauch told me on Tuesday as we chatted in his central Phoenix home.

“How did they kill your father?” I asked.

“They just took him and shot him," Knoblauch said.

Like many people in this country, indeed people around the world, Knoblauch has been closely following the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“I never expected it,” he said. “To live the day in the United States, to witness something like this.”

The scenes of white supremacists and neo-Nazis carrying swastika-blazoned flags and clashing with counter-protesters on the streets of an American city are images that obviously provoke hard and raw memories for Knoblauch.

“Neo-nazis, white supremacists, the alt-right movement are nothing but skinheads,” he said. “They have graduated from leather and boots and chains into suits and ties and shirts.”

Long since retired, Knoblauch now spends much of his time and energy speaking at schools, churches and community gatherings— sharing his eyewitness account of one of the darkest times in human history.

“I did 285 presentations at schools last year,” he told me. “What do you think I talk about?” he asked before he quickly answered the question.

"The kids, their futures.”

“We have a President,” he continued, “who seems to be so reluctant to admit something here that isn’t right.”

And Knoblauch has a message to people distressed by the scenes in Charlottesville.

“No. 1, you have to get involved," he said.

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